Known for both saturated cinematic melodrama and diaristic video work, prolific artist George Kuchar (1942-2011) also religiously documented this eventful time of year, often spent with friends and food in San Francisco. In the HFA’s second annual screening of Kuchar’s winter holiday video offerings, the charismatic filmmaker/philosopher visits and eats with friends and shows his beloved cats the year's haul of Christmas cards. – Liz Coffey
Xmas 1987 New YearsDirected by George Kuchar.
US, 1988, digital video, color, 13 min.
Slightly dark for the season, the video accurately depicts the sort of cloud from whence George is emerging—looking for love and attention during this vulnerable time of year. Unusually sporting facial hair, George dines with friends, projects film, drinks champagne and reflects upon Christmas cards, Blackie the cat, and a variety of distractions to avoid loneliness. George phones his mother, but the line is busy.
PilgrimageDirected by George Kuchar.
US, 1992, digital video, color, 29 min.
A voyage through a California Christmas that begins in the turd-smeared streets of San Francisco and ends in a botanical wonder of ethnic endurance and faith. A journey that incorporates pelicans, palaces, and platters of plenty. A season of joy bloated with the ephemeral gasses of religious fermentation and the iconography of a movie-land Madonna. – George Kuchar
Cat HouseDirected by George Kuchar.
US, 2007, digital video, color, 24 min.
This is a video that celebrates the New Year with a banging of plates and licking of bowls. The viewer gets to witness a house of canned celluloid and the watery vistas of a Bay Area burgh. There is much good cheer and some feline conflict interspersed with a menu of crunchy and mushy edibles for the souls of man and domestic animal. Sit back and digest this bonbon of fluff with a hairball or two. – GK
Lumps of Joy: A holiday treatDirected by George Kuchar.
US, 2004, digital video, color, 14 min.
A holiday video of good cheer and feline ferocity, this annual tradition of videotaped festivities centers on the oriental and occidental tidbits that make the season worthy for bipeds on wheels as they pedal from one calorie laden event to another. Along the way we meet many champs and chumps as they chomp away at the remaining moments of 2003. Ahead lie the lumpy treats of a New Year in need of NutraSweet. – GK